America’s John Isner will bring critical experience, and a booming weapon, as the latest star to commit to the inaugural Laver Cup.
The owner of one of the biggest serves in tennis, Isner joins another power-server, Canadian Milos Raonic, in the line-up for Team World.
It’s another thrilling chapter in a career that has delivered Isner with 10 ATP titles and some stunning records – including a first-round win over Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, which spanned more than 11 hours and was contested over three days to become the longest match in tennis history.
Isner is excited at the prospect of competing in the unique Laver Cup format and is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the powerhouse European team.
“Any player who appreciates history understands Rod Laver’s legacy, and I’m so proud to play in the first Laver Cup,” said the world No.21 American.
“It’s always special to play in a team, and as a tennis player, it’s a rare opportunity to be part of something that’s bigger than yourself. Teaming up with players like Milos, who I usually face across the net, will be awesome.
“It’s sure to be super competitive, especially facing off against great players like Roger and Rafa who’ve both had an amazing year.
“And we have the legendary John McEnroe as our captain – I can’t wait for his words of wisdom, it will be a lot of fun.”
With multiple wins over Federer on his record, the 32-year-old Isner has a history of troubling top names. At Rome this year, he upset No.3 seed Stan Wawrinka and the higher-ranked Marin Cilic to reach the semifinals.
Team World captain John McEnroe, already eyeing off the match ups and working on his strategy, is thrilled to have Isner on board.
“I’m delighted to have John join Team World,” McEnroe said.
“Who wouldn’t want a guy with weapons like his? He’s one of the biggest and best servers in the world, and we’ve all seen the sort of damage he can do. I don’t think any of the top guys ever want to see his name next to theirs in a draw.
“There’s no denying the Europeans look pretty good on paper, and Roger and Rafa have both had an unbelievably successful year. But team competitions bring out the best in players like John. Don’t forget he beat Roger in Davis Cup on his home turf in Switzerland, and to pull off a win like that takes nerves of steel.
“It’s shaping up to be a great competition and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Laver Cup will be played on one court over three days at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, in September 2017, with a mixture of singles and doubles matches.
The tournament is named in honor of Australian legend Rod Laver, whose achievement in winning calendar-year Grand Slam twice – both as an amateur and a professional – set the benchmark for greatness in world tennis.